Meetings when done poorly are a total waste of time, non-productive and can be demoralizing to employees. I can’t fix how you run your meetings BUT I can share with you 2 technology tools that I think can help you be more productive in meetings and make it easier to schedule them.
#1. Make scheduling meetings painless & stop herding cows!
If you are like me I can’t stand when people send emails back and forth trying to tie down an agreed upon meeting time. This becomes incredibly non-productive when you have multiple parties that you are trying to schedule. People are way too busy for this and YOU don’t have time for this back and forth non-sense and neither does your admin staff. So, I use TimeBridge-it’s a free service that enables you to send 1 email with multiple times for people to choose and the software finds a time everyone can make! That’s it done! 1 email and your golden! And the mobile app is pretty awesome too with features like agenda review and the ability to notify the organizer right through the app if you may be a few minutes late. Not to mention this cuts down on the tremendous amount of email waste we all are consistently fighting.
Once you have the meeting set, now is the time to figure out how you can get the most productivity out of it! Have you established clear objectives, did you send out the description and agenda in advance and have you asked people to bring any specific elements with them etc…? Now that everyone is gathered the main challenge is capturing what transpires in the meeting and capturing it in a way that’s productive! I’m sorry but using a flip chart isn’t productive, using a whiteboard not better either, using Word is ok but flat and for these reasons that’s why I like to use Mind Manager. Now, maybe it’s because I’m a visual learner but this software enables you to capture meeting notes as it happens in a visual manner, this way it is very clear what took place, what the action items are and what’s more is that you can easily import your mind map into Word if you really want that doc. My favorite feature is that you can export the mind map into your presentation software Keynote (Mac) or Powerpoint (Windows) and it instantly begins to build out all of your slides in the proper order that the meeting happened – it’s unbelievable and a major time-saver. Literally moments after your meeting you can have a presentation ready to present – trying doing that on a whiteboard. FYI–Mac users there is a new release coming out June 23rd take a look at the new iPhone and iPad features they are releasing and here’s a video demo of how it works:
This is a community, so YOU tell US what you use to make meetings more productive. I’d love to see your tips and ideas in the comments!